Would you runaway?

The news about the New Zealand couple running away with several million had spread all over by now.

Interestly, there seems to be quite a bit of support for the runaway couple. There are even two Facebook groups created that support them – Go Leo Gao – Go You Good Thing! and We Support Leo Gao and his 10 Million Dollars – Run Leo Run.

The question I ask is not whether this is right or wrong or if you support is. The question I ask is…

If you had also gotten the money from the bank, would you choose to runaway?

For me, it is obvious that it is not worth it. First, there is the risk of getting caught. It is not likely that one can get away with something like this so easily. Secondly, even if I manage to get away at first, it will mean that I had to play hide and seek for, at least, an extended period of time if not my entire life, and that means I cannot even enjoy the money. Lastly, the instant money would not be something that I had earned myself and that simply takes away the entire enjoyment factor of earning it and thus no longer can I enjoy what I earn.

What about you?

Originally posted 2009-05-22 21:45:12. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Skipping Shopping on Thanksgiving

In case you haven’t heard, there are a lot of brick and mortar stores openning on Thanksgiving day this year. I truly feel bad for the employees who can barely enjoy their turkey dinner with their family and loved ones. The best thing that can happen is for all of us to boycott such behabior, and say “f this shit.” But alas, I doubt that will ever happen.

No thanks to corporate America

That said, I still think we all have a choice. A choice not to buy into the absurdity in our culture. A choice that shows our character.

We’re playing a one-upmanship games with each other and have no way of stopping. The companies decide to compete (instead of saying no, we won’t do the same) with each other thinking “we must win.” So now we have all the stores opening on the day with the principle and ideal of being appreciative and showing gratitude for one another… not being more consumeristic and trampling over or clawing each other to get those consumer products.

No, I am not thankful that we have such culture.

This year, it’ll still be the same as before for me… I will not be shopping on Thanksgiving. I’ll be enjoying my day with the people I care about NOT shopping but just spending some quality time in each other’s company. To me, that is enough.

The other argument I’ll use is that most of the deals I find on Thanksgiving are not that great. The really cheap deals end up being products of lesser quality while the deals of things I’d like are not that more extraordinarily cheaper so big whoop.

So yeah, there are things I want… lots of them as many of us. But then again, I know I have enough, and what/who I will have around me is plentiful.

For that, I am thankful.

Originally posted 2012-11-22 00:53:51. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Core of Being – Are you are or do you think you are?

Most fundamentally, there are two realms of living.

1. I am.
2. I think therefore I am.

For centuries until now, we are actually moving more more toward number 2. Rene Descartes helped to promote and propagate number 2 with his “Cogito ergo sum”.

Genuine living happens by number 1.

Two can be easily mistaken. The difference between the two could be a very fine line yet it represents a world’s difference.

It’s easier by an example.

It’s the difference between talking about the ocean and swimming in the ocean. One can be so eloquent and seemingly so knowledgeable about the ocean yet never had really swim in it while someone who had and is swimming in the ocean, may just have nothing to say, nor will there be enough words for him to describe to others who had never swum in the ocean.

Fools are people who mistaken the eloquent non-swimmer as a swimmer.

“I think I am” is easy…
“I am” is loaded.

Originally posted 2012-01-04 15:17:47. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Dealing with heart breaks and disappointment – Detachment, Surrendering, and Letting Go

Last time I talked about not hoping. Couple weeks ago I talked about not limiting yourself with predefined principles. I will tie them together into the topic of detachment, surrendering, and letting go.

There is a pattern of human behavior that has existed for eon. This pattern, this behavior model got built into us, carved into our minds since birth through family, through friends, through commercials, through culture, through society. Everything around us tells us to work hard for what we want, and as part of the package is the expectation of certain beneficial outcome, or perhaps some notable achievement. Sure it feels great when we get what we want. Quite often, we don’t. And when that happens, we get angry, depressed, frustrated, disappointed, worrisome, jealous… naturally.

Or is it? Or is it naturally because that is what we are programmed to think?

Natural or not, that is besides the point. Certainly now, we can agree that there are so much burden that comes with expectation because we are attached to an outcome.

What is expectation? It is none other than a thought of certain outcome. The thought comes from certain aspect of our ego. The certain outcome provides significance and effects that enhance some aspects of our ego. Say you are a father, you expect your wife or children to obey or at least behave in ways that acknowledge your authoritative figure in the family. Say you are a senior, or maybe a genius programmer, you expect yourself to create a new software design that is a breakthrough and will dominate the market share. Say you are a CEO, you expect your decision to bring unprecedented profit for your company. Anyways, you get the point.

It is this expectation, this hope, this thought of wishing for good outcome that causes much suffering. It is the inability to let go of thoughts of a future that is good for yourself — your ego. Selfish? Yes. Attachment is selfish and causes suffering, but detachment is also selfish because you want peace for yourself. Selfish is okay. Just that between being selfish and in pain, and being selfish and in peace, the choice is obvious, eh?

So, on the other side of attachment is detachment which can offer us peace and joy. Yes, accomplishment, achievement, milestones… they offer moments of happiness, excitement, feeling of being proud of yourself, but how long do they last. We know they do not last forever.

People keep on chasing and chasing because they are attached. Along that path, they suffer. They desire endlessly for the next best thing that will fulfill expectations and hopes, which then make them happy. They dread and feel pain when the next best thing never comes. Such is the suffering of attachment.

And you know the story of our lives?

When we are young, we are to study hard in school and expect good grades. When that happens, the parents and children feel good about themselves. However, that does not last, which leads to the next thing…

When we finish one level of school, we expect to get in a better higher-level school — star high school and Ivy League univeristy — because of the previous diligence and good grades. When that happens, the parents and children are happy and excited again. However, that will not last either, which leads to the next thing…

When we finally finished studying hard in the academia and received the degrees, we are expected, again, to study hard to “win” interviews in order to land a wonderful or a “dream” job. Once that happens, we feel proud and excited again. But darn it, that does not last very long either, which leads to the next thing…

Now that we have a stable job/career, we are expected to get in a relationship (or already into one). Sometimes we expect to get “swept off our feet” by meeting one person, which could be cool. Either way, when things go well in the relationship, we are happy and we feel bliss, but certainly that does not last forever because no relationship sails smoothly always. There will be conflicts along the way. That leads to the next thing…

Ok, this paragraph is not quite a next thing, but if we are not in a relationship or do not care for one, then we expect ourselves to accomplish something, do something extraordinary career-wise probably. It is about either getting rich or famous. When that happens, we again feel the rush of happiness and excitement in life. Unfortunately, that will also be ephemeral. Once those feelings end, we expect ourselves to accomplish something more, to feel happy again, to feel alive again. Meanwhile, we expect ourselves to do this next thing…

Now that we have succeeded, dated enough… or not… we are to pick a person, someone who is perfect or complimentary enough to marry as partner for life. Then we get married. And we are happy and excited because we are finally hitched. But only momentarily, again! And by now, we are all thinking, “When does it end!?!? What’s next? What do we do?” Well, I think at this point, people either get divorced or have kids and get stuck. And the children and parents together start the cycle all over again (just go back a couple paragraphs back…). And at each step, when what is expected does not happen, we suffer.

Of course, there are people and couples who learn the wisdom of living in the moment and live joyfully together for a long long time. Notice I used the word “joyfully”, not “happily” because they are different. Happiness is an emotion that does not last forever. Joy comes from being aware, having peace in order to see things as they are, having the curiosity to observe, and appreciating the wonder and amazing qualities of each moment.

Returning to the topic of suffering caused by attachment and expectation. I am not saying to do nothing with your life. I am not saying that the stuffs that happen in life I describe above are bad.

Well then, what am I saying?

First of all, I think that given this life, we have responsibility to do as much as we can with this life because this is all we have. To do so, we have to master ourselves. Be our own master. But it is quite difficult to be a master of yourself when you are suffering.

The attachment to our hopes and expectations cause most of the suffering in our life. We expect this and we expect that, and we suffer when we do not get this and that. So logically, let us play without attachment. Let us play the game of life with detachment. And doing so allows us to exploit our full potentials.

Surrender yourself to your thoughts and expectations. Be aware and know that they are there. Sure they exist in your head. Just realize that they are there, fully feel what you feel each moment, and then let go. We are only human after all to have thoughts and emotions and desires. And we have learned for years to expect and hope for this and that. Be okay and surrender to your thoughts and emotions, expectations and hopes. They are merely that, and you choose your actions.

On the other hand, please remember to be okay with being happy when you are…

Surrendering and letting go are not passive. Rather, they are not the opposite of giving up because you must allow yourself to be fully aware in each moment in order to see your thoughts and feel the emotions, to sense your mind and body. As such, you make the conscious choice to observe yourself most nakedly, both the good and the bad. Giving up is allowing yourself to be ignorant, to succumb and be dictated by your thoughts and emotions, to not be responsible for yourself.

And perhaps stop doing things out of expectations. Make your own decision. Let go of the outcome. Then you will do your best.

Just be careful not to get attached to the outcomes of detachment, it is another form of attachment that will cause you suffering.

Originally posted 2008-09-03 19:35:45. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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